MILLTOWN, NJ - According to a Nixle advisory released by the Milltown Police Department on Tuesday, June 27, Mill Pond is ready for some fishing lines just in time for summer. Results from a recent PCB testing conducted with guidance from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife showed that PCB levels were not found to be elevated in the fish from the spill site.
PCBs or polychlorinated bipheyls are industrial products that were banned in 1977 because they were found to collect and impact negatively on the environment as well as cause harmful health issues in human beings. People exposed to PCBs have been shown to have higher rates of cancer. PCBs have been linked to cancer in rats, mice and other animals.
PCB concerns for Mill Pond, which is a section of the Lawrence Brook Watershed, mounted after an oil spill occurred during the cleanup at the site of the former Michelin Tire Company on Ford Avenue in October of 2016. The spill happened when a contractor was removing a transformer that dated all the way back to the 1930s when PCBs were being widely used. The spill was quickly contained by the Milltown Fire Department as well as a Hazmat Unit. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was also called to the scene to help limit the contamination in the area.
According to the recently released report, PCB levels were low in the testing sites and the findings did not display a signature of the spill in the Lawrence Brook. Since the results did not show a PCB risk, the recommendation was to open the brook for public use.
While Mill Pond is now open for fishing, the advisory cautions residents to the consumption advisories for fish that are currently in place in the Garden State. Residents can visit the Fish Smart Eat Smart NJ webpage that is managed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The website offers consumption guidelines for the general public as well as high risk individuals.
High risk individuals include infants, children, pregnant women, nursing moms and women of childbearing age.